Poker Strategy: Kyle Julius shows why block betting can get you in trouble

Kyle 'KJulius10' Julius and the Sunday Million have a relationship like few others, yet theirs is not always a happy marriage. After winning poker's biggest weekly tournament in 2012, Julius was more bridesmaid than groom when he lost out to Estonia's 'parmupilll' heads-up earlier this year. But thanks to one of the best triple barrel bluffs we've ever seen, at least Julius took the time to leave a worthwhile memento as he banked 'just' $199,000 for that day's efforts. He can add that to the $1.5m he won at the PCA 2012 which he collected after finishing runner-up to John Dibella in the Main Event.

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Julius at the PCA 2012

With the stacks close to even, and parmupilll hitting every flop like a well-timed high-five, Julius had already seen his chip lead dribble away. The slide called for a change of tact, for finer edges to be pushed. Cue the mighty 7♣4♥.

The flop smacked parmupilll's Q♥[10s] in the face-card, but by the river the board was wetter than Wimbledon. Two straight draws, an overcard to parmupill's flopped pair and full house possibilities meant the Estonian wasn't beating much. And with Julius already two barrels light, there was a good chance the clip would be emptied on the river. Handcuffing Julius with a blocking bet looked parmupill's best way to avoid having to decide whether to call a big bet with middle pair. Or so he thought...















Whether Julius knew parmupill had a queen is not for us to guess. What we do know is that he spotted a weakness in his opponent's textbook blocking bet, and subverted an advanced technique to his stack's advantage.

Could you make the same play heads-up in poker's biggest weekly tournament? If KJulius10 is alongside you, we wouldn't recommend it.

To watch this final table in full head to PokerStars.tv.

Keir Mackay is a copywriter for PokerStars.

Keir Mackay
@PokerStars in Strategy